tv Key Capitol Hill Hearings CSPAN September 3, 2014 10:00pm-12:01am EDT
under title ix as including sexual harassment and sexual talk about think you the sexual discrimination the students face. the unfortunate reality is hate crime still happen on campus. the unfortunate reality is violence within the i think that making sure policies cater specifically to those who have been most often hurt by it is the best place to start. you know, i know there's been a lot of talk about the place of the criminal justice system here. i tried to go to the justice system but i have an unwinnable case because i'm a male and so i could never prosecute against my assailant. and we need to be talking about how better to have state legislation, how better to have, you know, local legislation that expands definitions of sexual violence to include, you know, male survivors and survivors of same-sex sexual assault. some of the states the senators
on the health committee are from even have laws that are discriminatory on the books. i was doing just a quick search, you see male pronouns en we're talking about assailants and females when you see survivors. it needs to be eradicated and the senate is the place to start. you have to start from the top and i appreciate the work you've done on this topic. and it's one we have to keep talking about and have to keep legislating. thank you. >> i would reiterate that point about language. something as simple, it's called the violence against women act or often violence against women and paints a very clear picture of who violence happens to and who perpetuates violence and really leaves those people out. something to be mindful of as well is we are requiring colleges to consider doing climate surveys and you can probably speak better to this than i but those are to be made sure to have language that's inclusive that measures incidents across groups and doesn't presume opposite sex
partners or opposite sex assailants. >> i would agree with my two panelists and say that i know we work very hard to build prevention strategies that are very inclusive as well. we need evidence to know what works. >> thank you. the vote has started. i just had one pointed thing i wanted to bring up and get your thoughts on it. the department published a proposed rule to the violence against women's act amends to the cleary act just last week. one of the provisions is gaining a great deal of attention is the new provision clarifying that both parties may have others present during an institutional disciplinary proceeding, including an advisor of their choice. now, on the one hand, some argue that this erodes an institution's ability to control its own proceedings, that it chips away at the
institution's ability to marshal its students and community members to police their own. others indicate this offers both parties the right to have someone accompany them and offer advice for what could amount to a very traumatic proceeding on either side. what are your thoughts on that? >> i think both points are very salient in terms of it's really important and especially for a survivor to have someone present in that hearing or to sit next to or consult with in kind of recess or just make sure you're managing your expectation. accused students also deserve that right. the risk, i believe, comes with lawyers and advisory council and the inequity that could occur if one student can afford a lawyer and the other cannot and the types of advice that might be given that would be privileged in one sense to one side of kind of the investigation, but is not available because the other
student can't afford it and where that advice perhaps presents a serious problem. >> very good point. one student might have the financial resources to have all kinds of lawyer, legal, and the other person may not. that's a good point. mr. kelly, any thoughts on that? >> what is really important to note is it does not limit who the advisor can be but gives the school leeway to limit what the advisor can do in the meeting. a school has the ability to limit the advisor to only be present in the room and not allowed to speak. and i think that that's really important because oftentimes schools, especially smaller schools don't have victim resores, i'm talking about rape crisis counselors and domestic violence advocates, things like that whereas an outside local crisis counseling center would have those resources. so to be able to limit who the advisor could be to only members within the institution, which i know a lot of schools have historically done can be problematic because then you leave survivors with no one who
has training and how best to support a survivor in a difficult time. i understand the difficulty with having attorneys present and things like that but again, if you're limiting to what is able to be said in these meetings by advisors or limiting the role of the advisor, as long as you have the ability to have someone present is what matters the most. >> exactly. mrs. stapleton. >> i think it's really essential to allow survivors to have outside support people because i think sometimes, and i've seen it happen, colleges and universities do not provide survivors with the most informed and supportive people, so i would advocate heavily to have survivors have outside people and i agree with john on schools can limit what those advisors do. >> but again, i just raise this that senator white house said this and that is that -- and i budsmen issue of oms to have someone they can go to
that's not in the athletic structure. >> especially if that person can have confidential communications through counseling or health center or victim advocate provision i think is the way to go. >> then you said well, they may not be trained legally to know all the legal nuances. >> victim advocates are. >> i was actually about to say, so most district attorneys offices have victim witness advocates who operate basically to provide victims of crimes, a variety of crimes with all the resources at their disposal and sort of accompany them through the legal process, to have victim witness advocate liaison to a specific campus i think would be a good solution to that problem. >> exactly. i've got two minutes left and they tell me to get over there. first off, i'd like to thank our witnesses for sharing their expertise and views with us today. i particularly want to thank the survivors who are with us here today and for your personal courage in coming forward and speaking with us. i must say that when i hear
you, i put a lot of weight on what you are suggesting rather than perhaps others. i give a lot of weight to that. and so -- and that goes to that issue of having a sliding scales and things like that that i seem to have a disagreement with the department on. so i just want to thank you for that. especially mrs. stapleton, thank you for the wonderful research you've done. you're absolutely right. i'm sort of the father of prevention and health and everything else and we have to do a better job of having structures in our school that informs students, that set up preventative type measures. yes, that is the first. >> thank you for all your work. >> we've got to do that. but again, we have to do something to respond to the assault victims that are there and we know it's underreported. >> absolutely. >> secondly, i must say, i just found out that the academies, the military academies don't
have to report under the cleary act. that needs to be fixed, too. that needs to be fixed. i thank my colleagues and all of you and especially want to thank senator alexander for his partnership on this hearing. he had to go vote. i know he had a plane to catch but i want to thank the committee's efforts to examine this very critical issue. it will be a part of our higher education act re-authorization. >> wonderful. >> exactly how it's going to do, well, that's why we're having the hearing to try to inform us as what to do. i request the record remain open until july 10 for members to submit additional statements and the committee stands adjourned. thank you very much. >> thank you. [captioning performed by the national captioning institute]
[captioning copyright national cable satellite corps 2014] >> after the senate hearing a bipartisanship group of senators announced an effort to pass new legislation on the issue. here's an interview with the reporter looking at what the white house and congress are doing to address the concerns of parents, students and sexual assault survivors. >> joining us from new york city is christian lombardi for the center for public integrity and her reporting on campus rape cases won her several journalism awards in 2011. let's start with what the obama administration is doing currently to combat campus sexual assaults? >> thank you, bill, for having me on the program. the obama administration ramped up its efforts to combat campus sexual assault when president obama created a federal task force dedicated to the topic in
january. so by april, senior administration officials on that task force had released a set of recommendations for how compasses should respond to incidents of sexual assault and they described these guidelines as initial first steps aimed at identifying the scope of the problem on college campuses, helping schools respond more effectively to student allegations, and most importantly in some people's eyes, beefing up the federal government's own enforcement of this topic. one of the key recommendations is to increase transparency on the part of the federal government so the administration has launched a website. it's called notalone.gov and gives students information to help them file complaints with the education and justice departments, against their schools if they feel their schools have responded inappropriately or ineffectively to their allegations of student sexual assault. among other resources.
and it's also made public federal enforcement data involving sexual assault. so in may, the education department released a list of 55 universities and colleges now under investigation for how they handle complaints of sexual assault. that number currently hovers around 70 and seems to be climbing almost daily. simply because more students are filing complaints against their schools. justice officials are reportedly developing new training programs for campus police officers and school administrators to investigate and adjudicate sexual assault cases on their campuses. and education officials are preparing similar materials to train campus health center staffers on how to improve services for student victims. so they're doing a lot of beefing up policy and making sure schools are better equipped, at least in this initial round of recommendations. >> let's talk to congress for a second, your headline of public
integrity says a flurry of new legislation targets sexual assault on campus. what would a consensus piece of legislation contain? >> there are four pieces of legislation now filed in the house and senate and i would say the consensus will form around what most of these bills have in common, with each other and the white house task force. for instance, the task force recommended that school administrators conduct surveys on the scope of sexual assault on their own campuses and most of the legislation, most of the bills include a similar requirement for school administrators to conduct surveys. the senate bill in particular calls for making such annual surveys standardized and anonymous and requiring schools to publish the results online so we'll probably see something along that line, i would say. any other consensus bill would probably force the education department to make public all of its compliance reviews and
settlements involving colleges and universities and another task force recommendation and all bills seem to have this requirement of more transparency and openness on the part of federal government. >> are there issues related to campus sexual assault that congress will have difficulty dealing with through legislation? >> yes, i do think that there will be some controversy. we've already seen some controversy measures in both the senate and the house create more substantial fines and first ever sanctions against colleges and universities for violating the cleary act in title ix. the senate bill in particular, the booze cleary act violations from the current $35,000 per violation up to $150,000 per violation and it also would institute sanctions equaling 1% of an institution's operating budget. so this notion of beefing up sanctions against colleges and
universities, especially that violate title ix has a lot of support among student survivors, victim advocates and others pushing for more aggressive federal enforcement. but i'm reading reports from some educational professional organizations that they're opposed to this notion of intermediate sanctions and they will be fighting these provisions pretty hard. >> looking at the public integrity report, the sexual assault on campus report available at public integrity.org. what were some of the worst problems you uncovered during your investigation? >> i would say overall, we found students deemed responsible for campus sexual assault which is the equivalent of guilty in the college judicial system and often face little or no punishment from schools while their victims' lives are frequently turned upside down and analyze data that found that responsible findings rarely lead to tough punishment like prolonged suspension or expulsion while
student victims drop out of school together or transfer altogether, often out of fear of having to see their alleged assailants on campus. we found other troubling aspects, students who reported of being a victim of assaults faced barriers that left them feeling victimized again. some administrators discouraged them from filing and some schools failed to investigate and they present a policy to the students and are basic requirements under federal law. victims who went through the judiciary process encountered mystifying proceedings where they weren't a part of the process at all or off-the-record negotiations and even illegal gag orders. we found a lot of problems with the process that both the white house task force and these legislations are trying to, i would say address through policy and even more standardized responses. >> and for our viewers, that report available at
publicintegrity.org. and a reminder, too, all the hearings we covered on campus, sexual assault available on our website at c-span.org. christian kristen lombardi from the center of public integrity. thanks for joining us. >> we invite your feedback on this issue, for the lite program looking for sexual asaugs, call 202-626-3400. 123 or er with the #c email at comments @c-span.org. coming up on c-span, national counterterrorism director matthew olsonen talks about the threat of the militant group isis and al qaeda and then remarks from president obama ahead of this week's nato summit and british prime minister david cameron takes questions at the house of commons.
>> here are some highlights for this coming weekend. friday, live at 10:00 a.m. eastern on c-span, a nebraska screekt will hear oral argument on the keystone x.l. pipeline, saturday at 6:00:30, former f.c.c. commissioner ryan cops and robert mcdowell with campaign 2014 gearing up, watch the latest debates on c-span. sunday at noon, day hagin and her republican opponent tom tillis and democratic incumbent jerry brown and the republican nominee neil cashcari. author dan yew shares his opinion on law. and then mike gonzalez an how he thinks republicans can make gains for the hispanic vote. sunday at noon on "in depth" our three-hour conversation and your phone calls with the former chair on civil rights, mary francis barry, friday
night at 8:00 eastern on american history tv on espn3, authors and historians talk about the burning of washington in the war of 1812. saturday on real america, the building of the hoover dam and saturday night at 8:00, the anniversary of gerald ford's pardon of richard nixon. let us know what you think about the programs you're watching. 202-626-3400 or send us a tweet at market c 123 or email us @comments.org and like us on facebook and follow us on twitter. on our next "washington journal" we'll get an update on the nato summit being held in wales. robert levinson of bloomberg government will talk about the challenges facing nato. and then co-authors will discuss their book, what women ally want, about women's
society and rejection of feminism. washington journal is live at 7:00 eastern. join the conversation on facebook and twitter. >> now the national counterterrorism director talks about the threat of isis in parts of the middle east and spoke at the brookings institution for just over an our. >> good morning, ladies and gentlemen, i'm the director of the intelligence project at the brookings institution. and i want to welcome all of you today to this event sponsored by the intelligence project. our guests today is matthew olson, the director of the national terrorism center. brookings and ntct have a long-standing relationship and we've been exchanging thoughts and opinions now for several
years. we've been happily hosting nctc officers under our federal executive fellowship program here. the national counterterrorism center is a relatively new part of the united states national security bureaucracy. it's only about 10 years old. it has many responsibilities but the most important responsibility is to prepare the national terror threat assessment. t snee -- nctc, determines how serious the organization is and how serious the environment is. when president obama meets with his homeland principles, it is matt who opens the meeting saying here's what the threat is and how serious we think it is. it's a pretty heavy responsibility. he is not the secretary of state. he is not the secretary of defense. he doesn't decide what targets we bomb. he doesn't decide whether we
bashar al-assad. those in the audience have seen his bio, graduate of the university of virginia and harvard law school and worked in the department of justice and the national security agency. he worked on the guantanamo bay review process in 2009. we asked him several weeks ago if he would come and give a public presentation here and i'm very glad today he's agreed to do that. of course this is extremely timely with the islamic state of iraq and how sham killing another american with american commandos operating in somalia and for many, many other reasons, it is especially good to have him here today. the format today will be quite simple. matt will speak for 20 or 25 minutes and then i will take the prerogative of the chair to ask him a few questions and then we will open it up to the audience. last thing i asked you, if you
have your telephone on, please turn it off. i know you have an awesome sound call but mine is even better so please turn yours off. thank you very much. >> thank you very much, bruce. this past may, a man walked into a jewish museum in belgium, opened fire, killing four people. the suspect, a 29-year-old french national, had recently returned from syria where he fought alongside the islamic state of iraq and the levant. the very next day, a 22-year-old american from florida blew himself up while detonating a massive truck bomb in a restaurant in northern syria, one frequented by syrian soldiers. the bomb killed dozens. the american bomber was with an al qaeda affiliate and the group posted online a video of
the attack. finally over the past two weeks, an isil terrorist, probably of british origin, executed two american journalists taken hostage while covering the plight of the syrian people. and then isil posted these images for the world to see. let me pause and echo the words of the president this morning. on behalf of everyone at ntct, our thoughts and prayers are with the families. taken together, these horrific acts of violence highlight why security and intelligence officials and around the europe are alarmed about the rise of isil and the terrorism threat we see emanating from syria and iraq today, threats of those in the region as well as to the west. last week and again this morning the president spoke directly to these concerns,
calling isil an immediate threat to the people of iraq and the people throughout the region. likewise, the british prime minister announced the u.k. was raising its threat level citing information isil is targeting europe. this morning i'd like to spend a few minutes talking about the nature of the terrorist threat that we see in syria and iraq. i will talk about the rise of isil and some of the challenges we face but also why isil is not invince pibble. -- invincible. i will discuss how the situation in iraq fit in the broader terrorism landscape as i try to put it in the overall context we see. finally, i'll touch on some of the steps we've taken to confront isil and other groups operating in syria to address the threat they pose to our security. so as i begin, let me take a step back and thank bruce and the brookings institution for inviting me here to speak and acknowledge the terrific work that depose on here at brookings, across the full range of terrorism and intelligence issues, there's a
natural connection between the work at brookings and the work at ntct. in the government where we are, we're the primary organization responsible for analyzing the terrorist threat information that we see and indeed we've seen some of our best and brightest here to brookings to serve as fellows. the other thing i'd like to say at the outset, as director of ntct, it's our role to talk about groups like this about our analysis and share our insights. this summer the 911 commissioners issued a new report and asked national security leaders to communicate to the public in specific terms about what the threat is and how it's evolving. i see this event really as an opportunity to do just this and to shed some measure of light on the current discourse concerning isil. so look, there's no doubt that the american public is gripped with the news about the violence that we see in syria and iraq and this is completely
understandable, particularly in light of the video that was released yesterday and a couple weeks ago. by every measure, isil is a dangerous organization, an extremely dangerous organization operating in a chaotic part of the world. it has exploded the conflict in syria. it's exploited sectarian intentions in iraq, both to enrich themselves in these countries and now spans the geographic center in the middle east. the group uses terrorist and insurgent tactics and like an insurgency is trying to seize and govern territory. unless isil poses a direct threat to us and iraqi insurgents in the region and potentially at us here at home, the group's rack id success on the battlefield and their claim they are the knew ideological leader of the global jihaddist movement and all counts for the
threat it presents. beyond isil, other terrorist networks in syria pose a threat to us that even as we continue to monitor, terrorist organizations across the middle east and most of north africa. i'm going to talk now about how we at ntct regards the threats. i want to begin with the background of isil because it's important to start there. so the veteran sunni terrorist zarqawi founded the group in 2004 and pledged his allegeance at the time to bin laden. al qaeda in iraq targeted u.s. forces and targeted civilians using suicide bombers, car bombs and executions to pressure the u.s. and other countries to leave iraq and quickly gained a reputation for brutality and sir annie. continuing 's targeting sunnis in iraq caused a widespread backlash against the europe referred to as the
sunni awakening. d this involved into a surge that ultimately denied i ncrease. they also had ensuing sunni population with the war in iraq and syria. in 2012 isil conducted five to 10 suicide attacks by month in work and by the summer that had one to 30 or 40 per month. to expand its operations across the border. the group established a cover for its activities in syria and april 2013, last year, the group publicly displayed its presence under the isil manner. news front media rejected it and pledged their violence to
does because heree -- violence to zawahari. the group marched from its safe haven in syria across the border to northern iraq, slaughtering thousands of iraqi muslims, sunni, shi'ia alike on its way to seizing mosul. and through this they gained weapons and equipment and territory as well as an extensive war chest. isil we think takes inasmuch as $1 million better day from illicit oil sales, smuggling and ransom payments. isil established the government under the calafate and urged all muslims to spread support for their group and leader. three overarching factors and i'm going to talk about the
account for the ride and the success of isil. first, quite obviously, isil exploded the failure of the iraqi states to maintain cole over their more remote regions. assad's brutal treatment of his people and the misuse of resources from his company to oppress the opposition has acted as an mag independent for extremists and foreign fighters. in western iraq, the withdraw withdrawal had left swabs ungoverned there. plan and train and plot as well as coordinate weapons with little or no interference. movehave been able to supplies within their own territories with ease. it is a fighting force.
assaultaramilitary which enable rapid gains. this has sparked others into action. the leadership in these countries has put them to the sideline. isl has in recruiting to the fight. it operates the most significant propaganda machine of any group. multiple content on platforms. we have seen iso used a range of capabilities.
more recently supporters have since they and the momentum -- sustained momentum. they have used campaign to draw foreign fighters to the group, including many from foreign countries. it threatened to outpace al qaeda as the dominant voice. controls much of the tigris euphrates basin, an area the size of the united kingdom. strategic goal is to establish a caliphate to armed conflict with apostate regimes. those it considers apostates such as iraq, syria, and the united states are at it poses a multifaceted threat to the united states. i will talk about this now in
detail. in january, its leaders warned the u.s. will soon be in direct conflict with the group. there is little doubt isl views the u.s. as a strategic enemy. the threat is most acute in iraq. safe haven and resources their present an immediate and direct threat to america. this includes our embassy in baghdad, our conflict, and americans held hostage by isil. in the region, lebanon, turkey, jordan, isil has the capability to carry out small-scale attacks and threaten americans as a result. but the threat extends beyond the region to the west. it has the potential to use it safe haven to plan a coordinated attack in europe and the united states during the threat became real this past year. also, with the arrest of an
individual recently in france, connected to isil and upon his arrest, several explosive devices were discovered. at this point, we will have no credible information that isil is planning to attack the united states. we know more than 12,000 foreign fighters have flocked to syria in the past three years, including more than 1000 europeans and more than 100 americans. many of the foreign fighters have joined isil ranks. fighters may use these to conduct external attacks. the foreign fighters are likely to gain experience in training and eventually to return to their own country. return to their own country battle hardened. many are likely to possess western passports and travel documents. the fbi has arrested more than half a dozen individuals seeking to travel from u.s. to syria to support isil. we remain mindful of the possibility that an isil
sympathizer motivated by online propaganda could conduct attacks with little or no warning. any threat to the u.s. homeland from these types of extremist is likely to be limited in scope and scale. dire as all of this sounds, from my vantage point, it is important that we keep this threat in perspective and we take a moment to consider it in the context of the overall terrorist landscape. that is certainly part of our responsibility. viewede of isil can be as one man assisted -- of the global jihadist movement in the past several years. we have seen the movement diversify and expand in the aftermath of the upheaval and political chaos since 2010. the threat now comes from a decentralized array of organizations and networks. isl is only one of the groups we
are concerned about. al qaeda core continues to support attacking the west and for now remains the recognized leader of the global jihadist, even as it struggles to mount operations under sustained pressure. veteran al qaeda fighters have traveled from pakistan to take advantage of the permissive operating environment there. they are focused on plotting against the west. al qaeda's official branches in yemen and somalia remain extremely active. we have seen al qaeda at the arabian peninsula repeatedly try to keep down an airline in the u.s., targeting personnel in yemen. he capability to carry out its terrorist attack against the united states. it is now a leader within al qaeda and the group's propaganda continues to resonate outside yemen.
it threatens u.s. and western personnel in the region, even with the losses since 2011. al qaeda has taken advantage of the security vacuum, the flow of weapons across borders to unify north and west africa. unprecedented levels of violence are being carried out in advance of elections that year. here in the united its, last year's bombing at the boston marathon is a sober reminder of the sustained threat we face from self-directed violent extremist. you can see the terrorist threat emanates from a broad area. terrorist networks have exploited the lack of governance and lack of security in these areas. terrorist groups we think are active in at least at length -- at least 11 insurgencies and these groups contribute to insurgencies and exploit the government's ability to fight on multiple fronts. i want to point out identifying
these threats is increasingly challenging for us. the groups are adapting tactics to avoid our intelligence collection. terrorist groups are looking for simpler, smaller scale attacks easier to pull off. lester ats an attack the westgate mall in a row be. -- in nairobi. terrorists are changing how they communicate to avoid surveillance or they are moving usinge secure platforms, encryptions, and in some case -- this is a problem for us. to identify and disrupt plots. the point is this. isl has captured our immediate focus. it is only one of the myriad groups that poses a threat to us as a terrorist landscape evolves
and becomes increasingly complex and challenging for us. mind, letcontext in me spend the last minutes talking about the strategy to defeat isil. as formidable as it is as a group, it is not invincible. broad coalition of international partners, we have the tools to defeat isil based on a determined and comprehensive all of government approach. near-term, we are focused on protecting personnel on the ground and in iraq, including staff, while addressing the humanitarian crisis isil has created. our military is taking the fight to isil. we have conducted more than 100 and 20 airstrikes in support of iraqi security forces, and provided the necessary force to allow these forces to regain
infrastructure. because of successes of these strikes, isil is moving on and moving territory. these measures by an iraqi and u.s. forces have revealed isil is vulnerable to coordinated and effective military action. to zapike had begun momentum and gain space for kurdish forces to gain momentum. the u.s. and its allies have provided over one million pounds to survive, including food and water to populations under siege by isil. averteps have helped to humanitarian crisis is -- crisis es.ed -- tracy' humanitarian aid must be part of a broader -- over -- here at
home. ofh a clear eyed assessment the threat isil poses inside and outside the region, we're implementing a comprehensive strategy that calls for a global coalition, using all tools, diplomatic, military, intelligence, law enforcement, to in -- to defeat the group. only the government iraq that is representative of all iraqis will unite the country. we have concentrated on working with iraqis to ensure the new iraqi government stands for all iraqis. this will reduce tensions throughout the region not just iraq and indicates a marginalized sunnis that there is an alternative. >> iraqis have made progress to this goal in recent weeks naming a new prime minister. the strategy requires regional
and international partners. some nations will provide military assistance. direct and indirect. others will provide humanitarian assistance. the effort is underway in iraq where others have joined with us in providing humanitarian aid and military assistance. this week at the nato summit, secretary john kerry and hagel will meet with counterparts to enlist the broadest possible assistance and then both secretaries will travel in the middle east. country can support the horrors perpetrated by isil and no civilized country should shirk its responsibility. a broad international consensus will provide the foundation for a concerted action to achieve a number of objectives. we will continue to take direct action unilaterally with our partners. isil's capacity to
wage war and diminished control in iraq and syria. we are continuing our support for iraq moderate and for syrian opposition. next, we will counter isil's extremist messaging campaign by working with partners to emphasize battlefield successes of our iraqi and kurdish forces and to highlight the atrocity and the grave threat the troop poses to our iraqi sunnis. finally, we will continue to enhance our intelligence collection within the region and will build on an established security measure here at home to combat any threat we see. this includes working to -- to stem the flow here in iraq. our attention is concentrated on the security crises in both iraq and syria and rightly so. and other groups operating in syria threaten our people and our interests in the region and, left unchecked, they will seek
to carry out attacks closer to home. no terrorist group is invincible. the slaughter of tens of thousands of innocent syrians and iraqi civilians has shocked and united all civilized people for the barbaric murders of two american journalists and an attack has demonstrated these terrorist threats are not confined to one part of the globe. the president has set -- has said the u.s. will continue to do what ever is necessary to .rotect at home and abroad we work with our partners in the region and allies over the long term to bring peace and security to a chaotic heart of the world. thank you very much gorelick forward our discussion. [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2014] [captioning performed by national captioning institute] >> thank you very much for that hystericaland
description of the threat that we face today. you started in belgium. i would like to go back to belgium. i listened to what you said. you are portraying an which hason followers, sympathizers, and some cell structure in europe. if i would compare that to al qaeda in 1999-2000, when we knew it had a pretty well-developed cell structure in europe and asia, and,outheast as we now know, in the united states of america, what i'm hearing from you is we are not past that level of acute threat today but we could be there. is of whereir summary we're standing today? let's that is a useful point of comparison. you are spot on in
saying we are certainly not there. isil is not al qaeda pre-9/11. think we are also not as a country and as a counterterrorism community here, but also across europe, we are not where we were in pre-9/11. we are so much better postured in so many ways to see, detect, stop any type of attack like we saw on 9/11. concern and i highlighted this, the number of europeans who travel to syria. certainly some of them, perhaps many, have joined forces with isil. they're the ones returning home. that is the model we are most concerned about, and it is highlighted by what we saw in the judicial museum in brussels. , possibly acting atits own, possibly acting
isil's direction. a smaller scale type of attack, brutal and lethal, but nothing like a 9/11 scale attack. thought a queue was capable of at that time. that is an important point of comparison. arrows --nd endless hours reading propaganda. also, your intelligence collection. from looking at the propaganda and the whole terror threat to ensure you have, do you have any doubt about their long-term intentions, vis-à-vis both europe and more importantly american homeland? we do spend a lot of time reviewing their propaganda and information we are able to glean that is not part of what is in the open source is, i think yes, there is no doubt in our view that that is have the old really see us.
they ultimately see us as a strategic threat and one, as they publicly stated, they will inevitably confront. i do think at some point in time, allowed to proceed on the path they are on, left unchecked, they would turn their sites more to the west and potentially to the united states. organizationf this is a very mysterious figure. literally meaning he is a descendent of the prophet mohammed. if anything he says is true. do you feel the american intelligence community has a solid handle on who this guy is, where he comes from, what his ideology is, or is this still a work in progress? >> we have a pretty good sense. i do think that your characterization of him as
somewhat shadowy is absolutely fair. publicnot struck a persona in the way others have. their other members of the group that have a large public persona. we spend a fair amount of time in the broader community learning what we possibly can about him. >> do you think he comes from the same ideological bent as our colleague and bin laden? the level of violence, the him in thatuts category. >> i do think he shares that ideology, both in terms of the level of violence and, ultimately, grandiose aspirations he has set forth. so yes, i would put him in the same category. isil has set itself on a path apart from the rest of al qaeda and in part based on their disagreement with the tactics.
and the approach. is more about means. with respect to ends, they share the same ideology. >> to emphasize that isil or isis or whatever you a to call is part of a broader transformation, let's call it al qaeda is him, in the last couple of years. in that context, how worried are ,ou that the old al qaeda core perhaps with new leaders coming in, is poised to view resurrected and research as the united states and nato, who draw forces from afghanistan and pakistan? of seeing anger repeat of what has happened in iraq or al qaeda in iraq? we thought it was, if not
destroy, at least on the back foot, resurrecting itself with al qaeda for or al qaeda core like groups? >> we are obviously vigilant in possibility and working closely with afghan security forces, as well as other partners in the region. to continue to maintain the pressure we have been able to place on al qaeda to ensure that does not happen. i am confident we will take steps necessary to prevent anything like that type of resurgence of al qaeda in that part of the world. >> i will press you a little bit here there is a difference between taking it seriously, and this is notd that
the 2014 threat, but the 2017 threat. >> right. it is fair to press me on that point. part of my job is to be worried about these things. i have all the gray hair that i have and that is why. comforted when i see the work that goes on, so i will go back to that point, that we're going to take the steps we need to take to make sure that whether it is 2014 or 2017, we do not see that type of insurgents. the president made a number of speeches where he has talked about this, and what i talked about in terms of diffusion and decentralization of the threat. we need to be steely eyed about the threat, where it comes up, where it rises to a level of threat to the kind of
the u.s., whether our interests in the region or here at home, that we will do whatever is necessary to disrupt and defeat that threat. secretary kerry and secretary hagel and how going to the middle east after spending the weekend in wales, the question i am constantly asked by people, and you hear it on talk shows everywhere, is, where are our muslim allies? people we fighting these and the common american perception is, many of our allies are taking a lackadaisical approach. most often heard with regard to saudi arabia. anyout compromising intelligence collection activity, how would you characterize how our muslim allies, and you can name names if you want or say they, are working with -- shout out the ones who helped the most and be
quiet about this. the countriesows we work so closely with in the region, and i mentioned areas where i think it begins with a threat. you look at the areas, the countries threatened by the rise of isil. obviously, lebanon, jordan, turkey, and, increasingly, others, saudi arabia. these are countries we are closely allied with and are both openly and less openly, to take on this threat. results ofard to the what is happening at the nato summit and then further diplomatic efforts, more in the purview of the secretary of state and the secretary of defense, to build those partnerships and form this coalition. i think there is every reason to believe based on what is happened so far, that it will coalesce.
>> i mentioned in introducing you that you worked on gone, no -- one, no -- guantánamo. to see american stressed to look like guantánamo prisoners. looking back, how damaging has it been, how damaging is it still today, that the guantánamo facility six years after president obama called for it to be shut is still our overall effort to counter overall efforts? >> there is no doubt that, first, it is important to note our view that there is no group as successful and effective as isl is at using propaganda, particularly using social media. they outpaced any others in how
they used the internet to spread their message. as we have seen in the past, part of that is the guantánamo imagery. that, along with a number of other tools, are things that they turn to, or messages they turn to, to try to spread their message and radicalize others. i do think it is important to say here, there should be no equivalency and we should reject any sense of it between what we and ourhose videos country's policies. i want to make sure that is clear. time, we are working hard in support of the president's goal to" guantanamo. we are with the rest of the community, part of that effort. >> you have been doing this for some time and you mentioned in your talk that not only is the threat transform, but we are
transformed. the national counterterrorism , actually set up derived from an earlier effort, but we do not need to go into chronology and bureaucracy here, to connect the dots. we felt after september 11, we knew after september 11, information was not properly start -- shared. -- at how the nt u.s. government more broadly functions, how would you characterize for americans the level at which we are now connecting the dots, bringing the information together, and really making sure we do not of data slipeces through the >> as they did before september 11? >> that is a soft ball. thank you. i appreciate that. we thing to point out is were, just last week, celebrating our 10th anniversary.
we were -- an executive order in august of 2004 and then codified in the intelligence reform act later that year. , ayears of history relatively young organization. but really reflective of the overall counterterrorism community and the level of collaboration within this community, the level of information sharing, it stands as a model for the rest of the government in how we work. the imperative of 9/11 gave us the momentum to break down barriers to sharing information and we basically have been working that since 2001 and certainly since we were created in 2004. more concretely, there are real examples of the government working together in ways that are hard to imagine. i would point to the captures earlier this year. where the intelligence
community, working with military forces, working with the law enforcement community, these individuals are now facing justice. a longtime al qaeda operative indicted for his role in the bombings,998 embassy and another charged with his role in benghazi. a seamlessxamples of counterterrorism effort where intelligence, military, law enforcement, all working coordinated. all in a way, it is hard to imagine any other country being able to pull off something like that. it is something i am particularly proud of, as we see the small part in supporting that. but again, we are exemplifying the level of collaboration and coordination within the u.s. government counterterrorism community.
>> we have given you one chance at a softball so we will go to a hardball. please identify yourself and make it a question and not a speech. >> thank you. i am from the is -- the atlantic council. two questions. is it possible to defeat or even isis whilely degrade assad remains at least in .ominal control in syria what is the role in i ran -- in iran to help united states defeat what is a mutual threat. thank you. question, it absolutely is, without regards to the question of assad. it is absolutely possible to and defeat isil, particularly over the long run. it will take time.
part of that will mean working to secure a political transition in syria. as long as assad is in that a role with no legitimacy in his own country, we have seen syria is a magnet , which obviously complicates the security picture from our perspective, but provides resources and support for isil, and other groups. part of the broader strategy over the long term is a political transition in syria. respect to the second question, with respect to iran's iraq --iraq, obviously, ironic has interest in that region as well, it is a neighbor. i will not say much more about
iran's role. >> i work for the bbc. i was wondering if you could the a little bit about homegrown president. americans joining the fight in syria. i am particularly wondering about radical preachers, how you're dealing with them now, and whether it is different now. also how you compare it to have the uk's handling the problem. click the u.k. raised its threat level. they have a different system than we do for that particular question. the threat level question. i mentioned we think over 100 americans traveled to syria. of thoseknow how many have joined isil. we think 100 have gone to join syrian opposition and effort. many of those, we think, have joined extremist groups. the united in
kingdom is substantially more significant in terms of numbers. the prime minister mentioned as many as 500 in his remarks last week. the situations are similar. the situation is more pronounced. about foreign fighters traveling to those countries and then returning home. that is largely a consequence of the geographic proximity of the u.k. to syria and the ease with which one can travel there. we're doing a number of things. if he i has a lead on this with causingderstand what is folks in the united states the desire to go to syria. it is part of a broader strategy . we have seen this in the past with individuals desiring to go to places like somalia. certainly, the u.k. has this as well, with the number of
individual seeking to go to pakistan and other places. we work really closely with the u.k. understanding the nature of that radicalization process and the kinds of steps we can take from a law enforcement perspective, to stem that flow. here in the united states, we have tools. the fbi has the lead here. when we see someone who committed a crime, being able to arrest them before they go. >> thank you very much. i write to the mitchell report and i want to come back and ask the flip side of a question --ised polls -- bruce holst bruce posed earlier. back where we were in 9/11, 2001. i want to ask this question. you talked about what the
motivating factors of americans joining isil might be. it possible, and, do we have a way of analyzing, if not measuring, the extent to which inrica's staying in the game these countries? and the so-called collateral damage in particular. isil than it is eradicating? and doing so, multigenerational fo --tigenerational h moats -- multigenerationally?
doing have a choice? -- do we have a choice? >> one of the ways i would answer the question is to refer back to the work that has been done over the last couple of years by the it ministration, by the president, to set our efforts, our direct action legal policy sound with key points that we will take action only when there is a continuing in a ,inute threat to u.s. persons and one that is enduring, that will be in place for the foreseeable future. and that is dedicated to limiting any harm to noncombatants. this is the way we have announced the approach. and that we could hold out to the rest of the world to show it
is one that i think addresses the concerns you raised. at the end of the day, the president has again made clear that where there are continuing an imminent risks or threats to u.s. people, to americans, and to answer that last part of your question, the choice is to take the action that is necessary to stop those threats. again, i think you have seen that level of aggressiveness from the counterterrorism community, whether it is in situations i mentioned where we captured individuals because, where we can, we have taken that step. we have captured individuals, even in dangerous missions like that, where we have been aggressive, certainly as has been announced this past summer, where we sought to rescue, unfortunately not to -- not successfully, to rescue hostages in syria. where we need to be aggressive and assertive, we will be.
but the counterterrorism policies for direction -- direct action are on a footing that we can hold out as being and legal and sustainable over the long term. >> to those of you who came early and get in the front, you get a benefit from my inability to see anything more than 10 feet away. >> thank you for being here. simply put, terrorism as a global phenomenon is fed by recruit. feel disenfranchised, discriminated against, and economically stifled. they are infinitely susceptible to propaganda promising prestige and a paycheck. could you comment more on the propaganda countermeasures being implemented, with or without international partners, to fight,the allure of this as well as economic impact of these states, where recruitment
is high, that could bolster communication efforts? >> a very good question. obviously, as you look across these areas i mentioned when i went through this around the world description of the types of threats we are concerned about, one of the common themes we see in these countries is not only a lack of governance and lack of security, the problems more deep-seated than that in terms of economic opportunity, educational opportunities. really deep-seated socioeconomic problems that are certainly the conditions that give rise to basically young man with little hope, little future, turning to radical and in some cases, ultimately violent extremism behavior. so, there is a broad array of things that need to be done that go far beyond the remit of nt tc and these are long-term systemic
concerns working with the rest of our allies, regional partners, to address and largely work down through the state department as well, and in some cases, the defense department, to address. an answer to your question. the first part -- the first part of your question is about counter messaging. one of things we do is analyze the nature of message our adversaries are putting out. what messages are they using? why do they think these resonate and do they? if so, in what ways and with whom? informationde that to other elements of the government, particularly the state department, having a more outward facing role helping to push back on that message through diplomatic and strategic medications. we would not be the ones to actually send out that message. we help analyze it and understand it the help inform anse are fossil in shaping
image in the u.s. and shaping a counter message that would be effective. >> i want to build on the question little bit here in 2000 and 2001, we were dealing with the failed state in afghanistan and repercussions. the failed states now going by the half-dozen, we have got serious, iraq, failed or failing. libya, which is barely a country anymore. yemen, a prime candidate to move up into the dubious category. nigeria, if iern look at it, the resources of the counterterrorism committee of the united states are now being asked to be stretched very far and wide. how do we figure out what the priorities are and how do we ron does notal hi load trade next week, because they have the essential to do
so, but we do not have the resources focus on strategic thinking. >> an important part of what we do and essential question. as we look across the middle east and north africa, we see all these countries that are in some sense not being affected -- effective at governing. we see terrorist groups take advantage of insurgencies. 11, more or less, but that is about where we see the number of countries where terrorist groups are taking advantage of insurgencies. and prioritizing and understanding what is happening in these countries, so that we can allocate limited resources a centraly, it is -- challenge for us. the president talked about this at west point and on other
occasions, where he pointed out we have to work with our partners and build up the capabilities of some of these countries and seek to develop solutions beyond the u.s., going and militarily. across these countries, i think the key for me is to be very precise and careful about identifying the level of threat they pose, that the groups pose and operate. not just putting all of these groups on the same plane. vicious as heras rom has been, we do not see that posing a threat to us here in the united states, or even now really having an agenda to do so. that does not mean that may not change. but right now, it is not core al qaeda. ,he groups operating in libya brutal, militias, certainly, the
terrorist attack in benghazi was a significant attack. do not necessarily put those individuals on the same plane as we do core al qaeda. the challenge is prioritizing, being clear about the threat, being steely eyed about where we to put our limited resources, and then, making a really concerted effort to build capacity and international coalitions to do with these problems. >> we are getting close to the witching hour, so i will take three questions, starting here, and then write their, and then the gentleman back there. hopefully, we will have time for one more round. >> thank you. i am from brookings. my question is to take you back to syria.
during your remarks, you talked about the importance of working with the government as a strategy for iraq. during the q and a, you mentioned political transformation. assad has showed his staying power and -- over and over again. what is the short-term strategy for the u.s. to a dress threats you identified with respect to syria? , isl hasf it is to say now changed the ballgame with respect to the border. there's really not a border between iraq and syria. when we look at this as a challenge, we look at both countries. the short-term strategy has been, as i discussed, to protect americans in iraq. those in diplomatic facilities, particularly in baghdad, and
then to help avert humanitarian crises we saw beginning to form in a number of places. that is a short-term strategy. the longer-term strategy is to build an international coalition that will build all the tools we have to bear on the problem and that includes beginning with more inclusive governments in iraq and we made strong progress there under a new prime minister , but then over the longer term, it includes a transition in that will government be inclusive as well. that is a long-term proposition. that will require a concerted diplomatic effort by not just the united states, but particularly countries in the region. >> we will take three. one right here. >> with fox news, my question relates to threats you talked about, foreign fighters going to syria and the region and bringing their skills back home.
any that in mind, are there cells in the united states, whether it is people who have come back and flew under the radar, or people who remained behind as some organizational support? what can you tell us about the second american from minneapolis who apparently worked at the airport? my questionart of is about the video yesterday. within a few hours of the video coming out, there were -- there were reports and isil pose on the twitter page or facebook page apologizing to their followers that the video was posted by mistake. could that be seen as sort of a fracturing within the organization and some kind of power struggle in terms of propaganda leadership and influence? >> we will take two more. >> let me go ahead and answer
the question or are you saying, we save those for later? life this will be the last round. those twonot remember questions. let me quickly answer. i would answer the first part. the second two parts, it is more in the range of speculation, so i will not touch those. no indication at this point of a fightersoreign operating in the united states. . . we are mindful and vigilant about the possibility of individuals, more likely on back own, 1, 2, coming from syria. we have seen that model in toope. there is every reason be concerned about that as a potential, not happening now, but a potential in the united states. clear, we are working very hard, fbi, department of homeland security,
along with particularly european partners, to understand who those individuals are, to track their movement, and to be in a position to disrupt any violent activities they might engage in. >> has there been any -- does isil have any objectives against israel? have they attempted any actions or, is for some reason israel off their radar screen? >> i sit here and i am trying to think if there has been any indication along those lines of attacks against israel. anything --nking of nothing comes to mind in response to your question. given everything we know about that part of the world -- i am not aware of anything in
particular. >> very last question. >> thank you very much. broadcast to pakistan and broader regions. this morning, there were reports from the region that isil had to the propaganda. and the border regions and pete getting them off the posters in the back of the car. my question is the background i started reaching out and experts are believing some of the taliban groups may have been alive. to much is this a concern the united states, particularly when they want stabilizing? >> can i broaden that a little bit? you said of baghdad he and and
islamic state are now trying to be the new al qaeda, how much indication do you see that out there in lebanon, libya, message ishat starting to resonate. we're seeing an alignment with the united states. have seen individuals, including influential individuals within some of the either oft state some casesnce or in more affinity for the successes that they have had and tactics. situation.ynamic the competition and a queue on the other. a concern we have that perhaps to demonstrate they are the
leader they would seek to carry that wouldck establish bona fide. very dynamic situation. i go back to the propaganda points. we focus on the english language propaganda but they are using propaganda and a range of languages across the region. it is not just focused on u.s. or western audiences. obviously an area of grave concern for us so we are watching the situation very closely. lex thank you very much. is to be ahe prize local jihadist group and attack the homeland. i want to thank you for coming us a serious and balanced assessment. because mr. olson is a very busy person, and i ask all of you
governorow, california jerry brown will debate his hkari.nt, neel kas we spoke with a reporter did get some background on the race. >> tonight's debate between jerry brown and his opponent kashkari is the first and likely only debate between the two in this election. running us from sacramento is dan walters. thanks very much for being with us. let's talk about this race and the debate this evening. what will you be looking for? >> i will be looking for any opportunity for mr. kashkari to score some points and jerry brown.
jerry brown is a very skilled wordsmith as we all know. he peppers his talks with latin and greek references. hasin his older years, he developed a bit of a short fuse. it will be interesting to see whether mr. kashkari will cause him to lose his cool. >> jerry brown, one of the youngest governors ever and now california's oldest governor. >> he has been in politics forever. his father was the governor of california for two terms in the 50's and 60's. brown ran time, jerry for the los angeles community college district board and segued from that into the secretary of state office in 1970, then governor 1974. he ran for president in 1976. u.s. senate in 1982.
and then kind of dropped out of active politics for a number of years. came back in briefly as democratic party chairman, then dropped out again. ran for president again in 1992, then ran for mayor of oakland in 1998, won that. served in that capacity, then ran for attorney general, a post his father was held. then back into governorship. ri, why isneel kashka he running and what kind of campaign has he waged thus far? >> he is the son of indian immigrants. unusual for anybody in politics, much less republican. he is a banker by trade. he worked on wall street. he was the director of the bank bailout program under president bush and president obama. came back to california and
dabbled in banking again and decided he wanted to run for governor. we have now a situation in which all candidates appear on the same ballot in the primary. he beat out another republican to get the right to challenge jerry brown in the fall election. guerrillaed a campaign. he doesn't have much money but he is young, articulate, does a lot of radio talk shows. is on twitter and everywhere he can to make himself visible. interestingly, chiding jerry brown. is that jerry brown hasn't done enough to relieve poverty in california. has the worst poverty situation in america. kashkari went
underground. he disguised himself as a homeless person and spent a week in fresno experiencing the wrote of the homeless and about it extensively afterwards. it has been kind of a guerrilla campaign. he has very little money, put some of his own money into it. he is not wealthy in any super terms but he has a few million dollars. he hopes that he can kind of make a splash. >> california, the most expensive media state in the country. how much will be spent in this governor's race? at last count had around $30 billion in the bank. he is not hurting for money. he is leading in all the polls. the consensus is he is a slam dunk to win reelection. is it going to be heavy spending by california standards?
probably every light spending campaign. jerry brown doesn't like to spend money. if he doesn't have to spend it, he probably won't. inre is not much going on california to attract big-money. it is likely to be a fairly light spending election in california. a light turnout election in california as well. it has some democrats worried. calledkashkari campaign for up to 10 debates, but jury brown's campaign saying this one will be the first and only debate. >> that is keeping with most incumbents. they don't like to debate. why give your challenger and opening? presumeing it, i because, you can't say i didn't debate. the date was chosen to be the opening night of professional football, which is one thing
that will limit the audience quite a bit. it is an interesting example but probably not a very significant one. >> dan walters joining us from sacramento. thank you very much for the preview. >> california governor jerry brown will debate republican neel kashkari tomorrow night. we will have live coverage here on c-span. speaking in the baltic entry of estonia, president obama says in ukraine isnce a threat to europe. the president also spoke about the security of nato allies. president obama's video to start ofomes on the the nato summit held in wales. [applause]
>> thank you so much. hello, estonia. thank you, oscar for your wonderful introduction and for representing the talent and the energy and the optimism of today's estonia. especially its young people. oscar is sitting next to his father. his father and i agree that we are getting grey, so we have to make sure that somebody is coming up behind us. give oscar a great round of applause for the great job he did. [applause] to the president and distinguished guest and the people of estonia, it is a great pleasure to be with you in this historic city and this beautiful land. i thank you for the hospitality
you have shown me today. i've been assured that the weather is always like this. my only regret is that i missed the summers -- i will try to come back next time and catch it. i bring with me the friendship of the american people and i'm honored to be the first president of the united states to deliver an address like this to the people of estonia. i just had the opportunity to meet once again with the presidents of all the baltic states. i thank the president of latvia and lithuania for being here. we are joined by friends from throughout the region and i want to say a special welcome to everyone watching this out in freedom square. i'm especially pleased to see some of the young people here today. like oscar, you are fulfilling
the dream that your parents and grandparents struggled for, but could only imagine. that is, living your lives in free and independent and democratic baltic nations. that dream of freedom endured through centuries of occupation. it blossomed into independence only to have it stolen by four -- foreign pacts and secret protocols ash by foreign pacts and secret protocols. it was sustained by poets and authors who kept alive your language. in estonia, it was a dream that found its most eloquent expression in your voices.
on grassy fields not far from here when estonians found the courage to stand up against an empire and sing, land of my fathers, land that i love. he said, one day, no matter what, we will win. [applause] then, exactly 25 years ago, people across the baltics came together in one of the greatest displays of freedom and nonviolent resistance that the world has ever seen. on that august evening, perhaps 2 million people stepped out of their homes and joined hands. a human chain of freedom the
baltic way. they stretched down highways and across farmlands. they lit candles and sang anthems. old men and women brought out their flags of independence and young parents brought their children to teach them that when ordinary people stand together, great change is possible. here in estonia, when people joined the line, the password was freedom. as one man said that day, the berlin wall is made of brick and concrete. our wall is stronger. and it was. within months, that wall in berlin was pushed over. the next year, the baltic peoples finally voted in
elections. when the forces of the past made their last grab for power, you stood up. lithuanians faced down tanks. here in tallin, citizens rushed to defend the airwaves. you reclaim your countries. in your new constitution, you declared the independence and sovereignty of estonia are timeless and inalienable. the people of the baltic nations also knew that freedom needs a foundation of security. so, you reached out to join the nato alliance. we were proud to welcome u.s. new allies so that those were severe constipation were -- those words of your constitution were timeless and
will always be guaranteed by the strongest military alliance the world has ever known. today, people are working to build their own democracies. they look to you for inspiration. your experience cautions that progress is neither easy nor quick. here in the baltics, after decades of authoritarian rule, democracy had to be learned. the institutions of good governance had to be built. economies had to be reformed. foreign forces had to be removed from your territories. and transitions of this magnitude are daunting for any nation. but the baltics show the world what is possible. when free people come together for the change that they seek. in that great contest of ideas between freedom and authoritarianism, between liberty and oppression, your success proves that the human
chain that our way will always be stronger. we are stronger because we are democracies. we are not afraid of free and fair elections because true legitimacy can only come from one source and that is the people. we are not afraid of an independent judiciary because no one is above the law. we are not afraid of of a free press or vibrant debate or a strong civil society. leaders must be held accountable. we are not afraid to let our young people go online to learn and discover and organize. we know that countries are more successful when citizens are free to think for themselves.
we are stronger because we embrace open economies. look at the evidence. here in estonia, we see the success of free markets. integration with europe, taking on tough reforms. you've become one of the most wired countries on earth. a global leader in e-government and high-tech startups. the entrepreneurial spirit of the estonian people has been unleashed. your innovations like skype are transforming the world. and we are stronger because we stand together. this year, we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the baltics in nato. one decade ago, skeptics wondered if your countries were up to the task. today, they need only look at our training exercises where our troops grow even stronger together shoulder to shoulder. they can look at afghanistan
where our forces have sacrificed together to keep a safe. in just three months, the largest operation in nato history will come to an end as planned. there is no doubt, the baltics have made our alliance stronger. your progress reflects the larger truth. because of the work of generations, because we stood together in a great alliance, because people across this continent have forged a european union dedicated to the cooperation and peace, we have made historic progress towards the vision we share. a europe that is whole and free and at peace. and yet, as we gather here today, we know that this vision is threatened. by russia's aggression against ukraine.
it is a brazen assault on the territorial integrity of ukraine. it challenges that most basic of principles by international system. that borders cannot be redrawn at the barrel of a gun. nations have a right to determine their own future. it undermines the international order where the rights of people's are upheld and can't be taken away by brute force. this is what's at stake in ukraine. this is why we stand with the people of ukraine today. [applause] let's put to rest, once and for
all, the distortions or outdated thinking that has caused this crisis. our nato alliance is not aimed against any other nation. we are an alliance of democracies dedicated to our own collective defense. countries like estonia and latvia and lithuania are not post-soviet territories. you are sovereign and independent nations with a right to make your own decisions. no other nation gets to veto your security decisions. the protests in ukraine were not led by neo-nazis or fascist. they were led by ordinary ukrainians. men and women, young and old, who were fed up with a corrupt
regime and who wanted to share in the progress and prosperity they see in the rest of europe. they did not engage in an arms seizure of power. after an agreement was brokered for constitutional reform, the former president abandoned his office and parliament endorsed new elections. so that, today, ukrainians have a new democratically elected president. i look forward to inviting him to the white house this month. it was not the government of kiev that destabilized ukraine. it has been the pro-russian separatists who are encouraged
russia, financed by russia, trained by russia, supplied by russia and armed by russia. the russian forces that have now moved into ukraine are not on a humanitarian or peacekeeping mission. they are russian combat forces with russian weapons in russian tanks. these are the facts. they are provable. they are not subject to dispute. as a result of propaganda, many russians have been convinced that the actions taken by their government is strengthening russia. reaching back to the days of the czars, trying to reclaim land lost in the 19th century is not the way to secure russia's greatness in the 21st century. [applause] it only shows that nationalism
is the last refuge of those who cannot or will not deliver real progress and opportunity for their own people at home. let's also be clear where we stand. just as we refuse to accept smaller european nations being dominated by bigger neighbors in the last century, we reject any talk of spheres of influence today. [applause] just as we never accepted the occupation and illegal annexation of the baltic nations, we will not accept russia's occupation and illegal annexation of crimea or any part of ukraine. [applause] as free peoples, as an alliance, we will stand firm and united to meet the test of this moment.
here is how. we will defend our nato allies. that means every ally. in this alliance, there are no old members or new members. no junior partners or senior partners. they're just allies. pure and simple. we will defend the territorial integrity of every single ally. today, more nato aircraft patrolled the sky of the baltics. more american forces are on the ground rotating through each of the baltic states. more nato ships to patrol the black sea. tonight, i depart for the nato summit in wales and i believe our alliance should extend these defensive measures for as long as necessary. the defense of tallinn is just
as important as the defense of berlin and paris and london. [applause] during the long soviet the great estonian poet cried to the world, come to help, now. i say to the people of estonia and the people of the baltics, today we are bound by our treaty alliance. we have a solemn duty to each other. article five is crystal clear. an attack on one is an attack on all. if you ever ask again, who will come to help, you will know the answer. the nato allies including the
armed forces of the united states of america. [applause] we will be here for estonia, latvia, lithuania. you lost your independence before. with nato, you will never lose it again. [applause] in addition to the measures we've already taken, the united states is working to bolster the security of our nato allies and further increase america's military presence in europe. the new initiative i proposed in warsaw this spring includes several elements and we are working with congress to get it done.
here in the baltics, it would mean positioning more american equipment so it's ready if needed. it would mean more training and exercises between our militaries. it would mean more u.s. forces come including american boots on the ground continuously rotating through estonia and latvia and lithuania. nato forces need the ability to deploy even faster in times of crisis. our alliance must unite around a new plan to enhance our readiness. that means we need to step up our defense planning so we are fully prepared for any threat to any ally. it also means we need to have the infrastructure and facilities that can receive rapid reinforcements. we need to enhance a response force so it can deplore even more quickly to deter threats.
even as we meet conventional threats, we have to face other challenges. that includes propaganda campaigns to try to whip up fears and divide people from one another. we reject the idea that people cannot live and thrive together just because they have different backgrounds or speak a different language. the best antidote to such distorted thinking are the values that define us. not just in the baltics, but throughout europe. we must acknowledge the inherent dignity and human rights of every person because our democracies cannot truly succeed until we root out bias and prejudice from our institutions and our hearts. we have to uphold free press and freedom of speech.
lies and misinformation are no match for the truth. our countries are more successful and more prosperous when we welcome the talents of all of our people, including minorities. that is part of the work we must do. [applause] that's the example we must set. fourth, even as we keep our countries strong at home, we have to keep strong for the future. that means investing in the capabilities like intelligence and surveillance and reconnaissance and missile-defense. here in europe, nations need to do more to spur the growth and prosperity that sustains our alliance. to its great credit come estonia stands out as an ally that contributes its full share, its full 2% of gdp to the defense of our alliance. latvia and lithuania have
pledged to do the same. [applause] this weeks summit is a moment for every nato nation to step up and commit to meeting its responsibilities to our alliance. estonia does it. every ally must do it. fifth, we must continue to stand united against russia's aggression in ukraine. [applause] keep in mind that repeatedly, president putin has ignored the opportunity to resolve the crisis in ukraine diplomatically. the united states, the european
union, our partners around the world have all said we prefer a diplomatic solution. in light of russia's unwillingness to seize that opportunity, we have two come together to impose major sanctions on russia for his actions. make no mistake, russia is paying a price. capital is fleeing. foreign investment is plummeting. investors know that today's russia is a bad bet given his behavior. the russian economy has slipped into recession. its energy production, the engine of the russian economy, is inspected to drop. its credit rating near junk status. the ruble just felt when all time low.
in short, russia's actions in ukraine are weakening russia. russia's actions are hurting the russian people. it doesn't have to be this way. we have no interest in weakening russia. it's a nation with a rich history and a remarkable people. we do not seek out confrontation with russia. over the past two decades, the united states has gone to great lengths to welcome russia into the community of nations and to encourage its economic success. we welcome a russia that is strong and growing and contributes to international security and peace and that resolves disputes peacefully with diplomacy. in contrast to russia's isolation and economic woes today, that path which would include a stable and prosperous ukraine whose sovereignty is
respected would also ultimately result in greater respect for russia. that path remains available to russia. that path will deliver truer progress for the russian people. but it's a path that starts by russia changing course and leaving ukraine so that ukraine can make their own decisions. i have no doubt that one of their decisions will be to have strong relations with the not just europe, but also with russia. it has to be freely chosen. this brings me to the final area where our nations have to come together. in our steadfast support for those who reach up for their freedom.
including the people of ukraine. few understand this better than the baltic peoples. you know from bitter experience that we can never take our security and liberties for granted. we want ukrainians to be independent and strong and able to make their own choices free from fear and intimidation. because the more countries are free and strong and free from intimidation, the more secure our own liberties are. the united states will continue to help ukraine reform to build democratic institutions and growth economy. like other european nations, diversify its energy sources because no country should ever be held hostage to another nation that wields energy like a weapon. [applause]
we will continue to offer training and assistance to help the ukrainian military grow stronger as they defend their country. since there is no military solution to this crisis, we will continue to support the president's efforts to achieve peace. like all independent nations, ukraine must be free to decide its own destiny. nato must send an unmistakable message in support of ukraine as well. our alliance has had a partnership with ukraine for more than 20 years. ukrainian forces have served with distinction in the balkans and afghanistan. in wales, we will meet as alliance with the president to
show that our 28 nations are united in support of ukraine's sovereignty and right to de fend its territory. nato needs to make concrete commitments to help ukraine modernize and strengthen its security forces. we have to do more to help other nato partners, including georgia and moldova. strengthen their defenses as well. [applause] we must reaffirm the principles that have always guided our alliance. for countries that meet our standards and that can make meaningful contributions to allied security, the door to nato membership will remain open. this is a moment of testing. the actions of the separatists in ukraine and russia ought to
be consigned to a distant history. men storming buildings, soldiers without flags slipping across the border. violence sending families fleeing and killing thousands, including nearly 300 when that airliner was shot out of the sky. in the face of violence, it seems intractable. it is easy to grow cynical. to give in to the notion that peace and security may be beyond our grasp. i say to all of you here today, especially the young people, do not give into that cynicism. do not lose the idealism and optimism that is the root of all great change. [applause]
don't ever lose the faith that says if we wanted and we are willing to work for it and we stand together, the future can be different. tomorrow can be better. after all, the only reason we are here today in a free and democratic estonia is because the estonian people never gave up. you never gave up when the red army came in from the east or when the nazis came in from the west. you never gave up when the soviets came back or when they sent your best and brightest to the gulags, never to return. you never gave up through a long
their tanks were no equal to the moral power of your voices. their walls were no match for the strength of your people, united in an unbreakable chain. like the poles and hungarians, czechs and the slovaks, the east germans on top of the ball -- w all, you believe, no matter what, we will win. example and victory gives hope to people all over the world. yes, there will be setbacks and frustrations. moments of doubt. moments of despair. the currents of history at the flow.ow -- ebb and toward freedom --